Welcome to the FES Office Romania
Equality Matters! - The Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung, together with the Center for Social Research Analitika, present a report on inequality in Southeast Europe
On the occasion of the Western Balkans Summit on May 17th, 2018 we would like to draw your attention to a new FES report on inequality in Southeast Europe (SEE).
Focusing on available data from Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), Croatia, Kosovo, Macedonia, and Serbia, the report shows that levels of income inequality tend to be among the highest in Europe. A major reason are the weak labor markets of the region, as being excluded from the labor market and working in precarious and informal jobs significantly contributes to inequality. Moreover, while social protection and tax systems are generally shown to offset inequality, progressive tax systems that would alleviate the tax burden on those who are worse off are largely absent in the region. Social protection systems do not sufficiently reduce inequality and poverty, primarily due to the low generosity and coverage of benefits. A lack of access to quality education in the region increases inequality of opportunity and outcome.
Despite inequality’s serious repercussions, governments in the SEE region have not devoted sufficient attention to this issue. Labor market policies of deregulation and flexibility have in fact increased precarious work and done little to lower unemployment. Social safety nets have been eroded through fiscal consolidation efforts. Looking at socioeconomic reforms formulated in light of countries’ EU accession prospects, the report argues that envisaged measures do not sufficiently address economic inequality.
To ensure that the root causes of inequality are addressed, the report argues in favor of multidimensional responses in the realms of education, employment, taxation and social policy, providing general recommendations on ways in which inequality in the region could be reduced.
A summary of the key messages and recommendations can be accessed: http://library.fes.de/pdf-files/bueros/sarajevo/14451.pdf
The full report is available http://library.fes.de/pdf-files/bueros/sarajevo/14452.pdf
Conference: "NATO and the West. A new Strategic Concept?", Bucharest, 17 April 2018
The mandate, purpose and direction of the North Atlantic Alliance are currently being scrutinized by the global community. Is the world order as we know it about to fundamentally be altered and entering a new stage? Is the Alliance prepared to deal with the ever evolving hybrid threats it is facing? These are just a few of the questions that have been addressed at a conference organized by Friedrich- Ebert-Stiftung Romania and the National School of Political Studies and Public Administration (SNSPA) on April 17th in Bucharest.
Starting point of the discussion was a recently launched FES-paper on "What Remains of the West? – Quo Vadis NATO?" authored by Helmut W. Ganser, Wulf Lapins and Detlef Puhl.
The speakers at the event included Stephan Meuser, Friedrich-Ebert- Stiftung (FES) Representative for Romania and the Republic of Moldova, Remus Pricopie, Rector of the National School of Political Studies and Public Administration; Detlef Puhl, Former Senior NATO Advisor; Brigadier General (ret.) Helmut W. Ganser, former official of the Ministry of Defence, Germany, Ana Tinca, Director for Strategic Policies, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Romania; and Gen (ret.) Mihail Ionescu, Director of the Institute for POlitical Studies of Defense and Military History (ISPAIM), Ministry of National Defense, Romania. The ensuing debate was chaired by Prof. Vasile Secares, Chairman of the NATO Partnerships Studies Center.
The event was the first in a series meant to prepare the Bucharest Security Conference that will take place this September in the Romanian capital. Dialogue and collaboration are the cornerstones for a secure North Atlantic Community. By facilitating these dialog formats on foreign and security policy, BSC Dialogues makes an important contribution to the consolidation of NATO position in this region.
The Democratic Potential of Emerging Social Movements in Southeastern Europe
FES is pleased to announce the publication of our latest edited volume, “The Democratic Potential of Emerging Social Movements in Southeastern Europe”, which examines the transformative potential of civil society mobilization across the Balkans and Europe’s Southeast. This is a timely intervention into the public and policy debate surrounding the future and methods of democratic governance in the region, and it is one we hope you will share widely: http://library.fes.de/pdf-files/bueros/sarajevo/13781.pdf
Annual Conference "Together against Trafficking in Human Beings"
FES-Romania together with the European Center for Legal Education and Research and with the support of the Embassies of Germany, Great Britain, Sweden, the Netherlands, Israel and the United States held the fourth edition of the national conference "Together against Trafficking in Persons" in Bucharest on 25 September 2017.
The meeting is the most well-known annual debate in Romania on organized crime for magistrates, police officers, labor inspectors and civil servants in local public institutions, as well as representatives of non-governmental organizations involved in combating the phenomenon of trafficking in human beings.
Details about the conference, program, speakers and presentations can be found here: https://communication.lpages.co/impreuna-impotriva-traficu.../
Rethinking Europe: A New Social Democratic Narrative - FES Alumni Conference 2017
The Western world is facing the biggest challenges in its political landscape since the fall of the Berlin wall. 2016 was the year of the referendum on #Brexit and across the Atlantic, where ultra-conservatives and radical right groups in America are celebrating the election to the White House of the billionaire Donald Trump, the populist wave celebrated a victory never seen before. For the first time since the end of the Second World War fundamental elements of the European security architecture are put openly under question, whereas in America and Europe the political discourse is no longer about bringing down barriers of any kind, but about building walls and fences again.
Meanwhile, in spite of the revelations that culminated with the Panama Papers scandal, the politics of big business, of uncontrollable and uncontrolled financial flows, and of deregulation continues. This is effectively done to the detriment of those who work to earn their living by hiding profits from the fiscal authorities, by lowering work and living standards, by externalizing production costs, thus putting heavier burdens on the shoulders of the many. The austerity policies imposed inside EU with the help of liberal and conservative forces did not restore the welfare and wellbeing of European citizens, but determined a chronicization of poverty and created additional tensions inside a European union already in trouble.
The 2017 FES Alumni Conference, that took place on May 5-7 2017, in Bucharest aimed to discuss about the way social democracy is responding to these tremendous challenges. What message sends the democratic left to its citizens and to the entire world? And what is needed to be done, not to surrender the world in the hands of the populists and neoliberals?